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Estancia Los Potreros

Overview

Estancia Los Potreros is a renowned riding holiday destination, set in the Cordoba hills in the middle of Argentina. It lies off the beaten track in the heart of this beautiful region and dates from 1574 when it bred mules to be used in the silver mines of Peru. It has been owned by the same Anglo …

Highlights

  • Welcomes all abilities of rider and non-riders
  • Glorious variety of trails across beautiful landscapes
  • Try your hand at cattle herding and polo
  • Discover the fabulous Peruvian Paso and Criollo horses
  • Relax in traditional buildings with great food and wine

Essential Facts

  • 2 itineraries available
  • Max 12 riders per group
  • Average of 3 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: For Estancia Stays 95kg / 210lbs / 15 stone; for Polo & riding Paso horses 83kg / 183lbs / 13 stone

Description

Estancia Los Potreros is a renowned riding holiday destination, set in the Cordoba hills in the middle of Argentina. It lies off the beaten track in the heart of this beautiful region and dates from 1574 when it bred mules to be used in the silver mines of Peru. It has been owned by the same Anglo Argentine family for four generations and nowadays is an idyllic getaway for riders and those who enjoy being close to nature.

The organic farm breeds Aberdeen-Angus cattle and Paso Peruano horses and is a year round destination known for the spectacular riding opportunities that it offers. Estancia based riding, polo and cattle work are all available to riding guests and these can be combined with other activities or simply some relaxation. The riding herd numbers over 80, so there is a horse to match every rider, and they are kept fresh and willing by taking part in a variety of work and living in a natural herd environment. The herd is a mixture of Criollos, Paso Peruanos, polo ponies and some cross breeds, though the Paso Peruano is actively bred on site and offers a comfortable riding experience due to its five gaits (as opposed to four). Guests are encouraged to get involved with every aspect of horse activities at the estancia.

As well as the fabulous horse riding activities on offer, guests can also relax by the pool or in a hammock, enjoy the selection of books available, learn about Argentine cuisine from the estancia chef, join a picnic lunch, observe a game of polo or even go for a ride in an antique car or a horse-drawn carriage. Argentine culture strongly reflects a love and respect of the horse in keeping with the gaucho life and visitors can enjoy an insight into the working practices of the farm, traditional cuisine and the beliefs and ways of the locals.

The Cordoba hills are known for spectacular scenery and a comfortable climate. There is a number of tree species including acacias, cocos and molles and wild flowers bloom across the land from spring to autumn. A number of birds, including vultures and eagles, can be seen across the skies whilst animals including foxes, hares, puma, wild boar and small deer also roam the lands with some species being more elusive than others. Opportunities to observe the wildlife of the hills, in combination with horse riding activities, comfortable farmhouse accommodation and tasty cuisine, make this a superb South American riding holiday.

This destination has been visited by Cathy who is happy to tell you all about it. This is a holiday that can be enjoyed by families, couples and groups as well as singles. It's also a great option for a honeymoon!

Horses & Riding

Tack

The tack is English with sheepskins over the saddles. Horses are ridden in a relaxed western style with loose reins.

Horses

Criollo, Paso Peruanos, some crossbreeds. Homebred on the estate.

Riding

There are 2 itineraries:

  • Estancia Based Stay is a based ride
  • Learn To Play Polo is a based ride

Ages

Children should be 10 years or older. Polo is only available to riders 12+

Health

No special requirements.

Weight

For Estancia Stays 95kg / 210lbs / 15 stone; for Polo & riding Paso horses 83kg / 183lbs / 13 stone

Food & Accommodation

Food

The estancia is a working cattle farm and Argentina is known a superb country for beef production. Therefore beef plays an important part in the daily menu, though there is good variety as the menu also includes things such as chicken, pork, pasta and vegetarian dishes.

A relaxed breakfast is taken on the patio under the bamboo pergola. Lunches can be 'asados', Argentine barbecues where endless cuts of meat are offered. Picnics are often enjoyed during a ride, perhaps in the shade of a weeping willow by a stream. This is accompanied, of course, by a well-deserved drink. Meals are varied and delicious with opportunities to try local dishes. The excellent cook makes pasta and meat dishes usually with produce from the farm. Guests eat dinner in the formal dining room where Chippendale furniture is complemented by English prints on the walls. The local winery makes "Los Potreros' wine, a Malbec, and a Torrontes, both of which are excellent.

The cook is more than happy to cater to specific dietary requirements including vegetarians, allergies or intolerances. Please note that some items which are easy to source at home are impossible to find in Argentina, such as Tofu or lactose-free items, so please ensure you discuss your dietary requirements with us in advance.

NB. All guests eat together for lunch but children are requested to eat earlier in the evening so that adults can dine together later.

Accommodation

The estancia is a traditional farmhouse nestled below the brow of a hill and surrounded by acacia, coco and molle trees. The dwelling is north facing and its elevated position provides stunning views of the garden and hills beyond. Separate from the house, the swimming pool commands an excellent view of the surroundings. All seven bedrooms have wood burning stoves, giving the place a special atmosphere, and are furnished with comfortable antiques and wooden floors. Each room has a private bathroom with both a bath and shower.

Free wi-fi is available in the main buildings on the estancia and there is also a laptop for guest use and a satellite phone for emergencies. Guests should expect very limited mobile phone coverage/signal. Your hosts ask that laptops, phones and other electronic devices are switched off or left in bedrooms during drinks and mealtimes for the sake of the other guests.

Itineraries

Estancia Based Stay Standard accommodation.

Learn To Play Polo Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Gaucho culture and reverence of the horse are very strong here along with the oldest traditions of Argentina. For those simply wanting a break, lying by the pool (open mid October to mid April), walking in the hills and exploring the streams around the estancia will be a great pleasure. Mountain bikes are available and there are local festivals and rodeos to visit. There are annual cattle sales and branding to watch for those interested.

Travel

Transfers are included from Cordoba airport between 08:00 and 20:00. If you arrive outside these times then a transfer fee will be charged.

Transfers are also available from Rio Ceballos bus station if you wish to arrive by bus at the same timings as the airport. However, if you arrive into the main station in the centre of Cordoba then you will have to pay for a transfer. Please ask us if you want to travel by bus.

Testimonials

Maria K, Jan. 8, 2020

Very relaxing holiday! I felt completely spoiled and pampered. There is very lovely and relaxed atmosphere and the holiday really feels like holiday.


Sophia B., Jan. 9, 2018

My time at Los Pots was really wonderful. As cheesy as it may sounds, I really do think that you arrive as a guest and leave as a friend. Lou and Kevin have created something very special at the estancia. My room was beautiful and had such attention to detail. The food is outstanding and I'm now the size of a whale! Every horse I rode (8 in total) was outstanding and the tack is in wonderful condition and very comfortable. (The guides) ...were all excellent. Very chatty, always helpful and keen to make sure you were having the best times. Top marks! (Favourite memory?) Probably Christmas day - a wonderful 'team" breakfast of smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and champagne, a visit from Santa, a day ride on Pasos to the swimming hole and then a feast of a Christmas lunch!


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Transfer from Cordoba and arrival at Estancia Los Potreros. After settling in and taking a look around, you will hopefully have time for your first ride out... this is an introductory ride to get used to the gaucho style of riding - long legs, deep seats and neck reining whilst enjoying the comfortable sheepskins on the saddles. After your ride, Kevin and Lou invite you to a welcome dinner in what has been the Begg family home for over 100 years.

Day 2

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

A long morning ride to the far south of the farm, dropping into the local village to visit a unique and unusual chapel and museum that was built as a memorial to his wife and daughter by Guido Buffo, an art and science lover. Enjoy a traditional Argentine asado lunch, sampling different cuts of the estancia's home reared beef, washed down with plenty of Malbec.

Take a rest this afternoon to relax by the pool and in the evening you are invited to an informal wine-tasting, sampling local wines of the region before setting down to a candlelit dinner.

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

In the morning, ride to the Top of the World, the highest point on the estancia to appreciate the spectacular views over the Sierra Chicas. The trail along the ridge is perfect for condor and eagle spotting, before returning to the estancia in time for lunch on the verandah.

In the afternoon it's time for a demonstration and introduction to the very special Peruvian Paso horse. Learn more about this amazing five gaited horse, before trying out their super-smooth paces yourself. All these horses are home-bred on the estancia, are forward going and extremely comfortable.

Day 4

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Cattle day! Discover your inner gaucho as you help the boys round up the herd of award-winning Aberdeen Angus, collecting them and moving them across the hills to the cattle station. Following lunch 'gaucho style' under a shady tree, see if you can master the art of the lasso in the corrals before some lovely long open canters along the top of the hills as you return to the estancia.

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

The ride this morning drops down to the hidden waterfall where you can take a dip or just take a few moments to relax in the cool shade. From there a wonderful long canter takes you to Potrero de Niz - the original Begg family home. The house has stunning views across the valley as you enjoy lunch on the verandah. In the afternoon, ride back via the Bellstone which will have the geologists amongst you scratching your heads. Tonight the chef opens the kitchen doors and invites you to join her in preparing some local dishes whilst sampling some fabulous Argentine wines.

Day 6

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Time to try your hand at polo, otherwise known as the 'Sport of Kings'! You will head down to the polo field for a short lesson, some 'stick and ball' practice and then to play your first few chukkas. After a barbeque lunch challenge the gauchos to a game of 'sortija'. This involves threading a stick through a small ring whilst riding at speed!

Day 7

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

On your final day, ride through plunging gorges and over soaring mountain tops to reach Las Tasas - a gorgeous natural swimming hole where you can dive, swim or take a snooze. After a shady picnic lunch, help the gauchos round up the mares and foals to protect them from the elusive puma. Farewell dinner.

Day 8

Riding: 1 hours

Time to eat your last breakfast at the estancia, perhaps a hearty meal of bacon and eggs. Then you will depart for your onward travel.

Accommodation

Stay at the estancia - a traditional working cattle farm - with 7 guest bedrooms. Each room has a private bathroom with both a bath and shower.

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All abilities of rider can be accommodated. Rides are split so that novice riders take a steadier pace than experienced riders.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 12
Departure windows

At any time during: Sept. 1, 2021 - April 30, 2022  (Minimum stay of three nights, except over Christmas/New Year when minimum stay is 5 nights.)

At any time during: July 1, 2022 - April 30, 2023  (Minimum stay of three nights, except over Christmas/New Year when minimum stay is 5 nights.)

Pricing

2021
High Season: January-April, October-December (3-6 night stays), sharing
£350 $485 €415 per night
2021
High Season: January-April, October-December (7 or more nights), sharing
£315 $435 €375 per night
2021
Low season: July-September (3-6 night stays), sharing
£315 $435 €375 per night
2021
Low season: July-September (7 or more nights), sharing
£285 $395 €335 per night
2022
Main Season (excludes 15 Dec-15 Jan), 3-6 night stay, sharing
£350 $485 €415 per night
2022
Main season (excludes 15 Dec-15 Jan), 7+ nights stay, sharing
£315 $435 €375 per night
2022
Christmas/New Year (15 Dec-15 Jan), 3-6 night stay, sharing
£385 $530 €455 per night
2022
Christmas/New Year (15 Dec-15 Jan), 7+ night stay, sharing
£350 $485 €415 per night
Included Accommodation, meals, drinks (including wine, beer and basic spirits), riding, all estancia based activities, set time Cordoba airport transfers
Not included Flights, insurance, Cordoba city centre transfers or outside set times, tips

Extras

2021/2022 - Single Supplement 30.0%
Paid to Far and Ride
There are three single occupancy rooms available without an additional supplement, on a first come first served basis. To guarantee a double room for single occupancy then the supplement must be paid.
2021/2022 - Child discount 20% discount for children aged 10-16 years
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

You are transferred from Cordoba airport to the estancia - a journey of c. 1 hour. Most guests arrive in time for a late lunch and introductory ride on the estancia, where you'll experience the gaucho style of riding.

Days 2 to 7

Riding: 4 - 6 hours

Each morning you'll experience 3-4 hours on the polo ground, where you will be introduced to the basics of the game - the shots, the rules and of course the play, all on wonderfully kind and forgiving horses. This is an ideal way to gain an introduction to the sport whilst also enjoying the Argentine culture.

The second half of the day will be spent enjoying some of the fabulous trail riding on offer.

The Learn to Play Polo weeks run on three set dates each year, but can also be scheduled on request for groups of 2+ riders. Please note that Polo is subject to weather conditions, so these weeks are not scheduled during the winter months when the polo field may be wet and slippery.

Day 8 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast, depart for your onward travels.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Riders with prior experience will get more out of the Polo weeks, so that you can concentrate on the game rather than your riding.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 12
Departure windows

Oct. 5, 2021 - Oct. 12, 2021

Nov. 9, 2021 - Nov. 16, 2021

Feb. 28, 2022 - March 7, 2022

Oct. 3, 2022 - Oct. 10, 2022

Nov. 7, 2022 - Nov. 14, 2022

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£2460 $3400 €2915
Included Shared accommodation, meals, drinks (including wine, beer and basic spirits), riding, polo games/tuition, all estancia based activities, set time Cordoba airport transfers
Not included Flights, insurance, Cordoba city centre transfers or transfers outside of set times, tips
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.